Every state (and even different areas of the state) has differing guidelines about child visitation. It also depends on the divorce – were there any abuse allegations? What type of custody are the parents fighting for? Will both parents still live in the area? These are just a few of the things judges consider when deciding child visitation schedules.
If your family has special circumstances, it would be in your best interest to work with your spouse to come to an agreement about your divorce. An amicable divorce is the easiest way to make sure you get the schedule you want for your children. Remember that a judge will have to agree to your plan so make sure both parents will have adequate visits with the children.
Usually, a child visitation schedules include an evening visit of a few hours throughout the week and spending every other weekend with the non-custodial parent. However, this schedule does not work for all families. So many people work swing shifts or weekends that a schedule like this is hard to follow. If you want more control of your schedule, work with your spouse to design one that works for you both.
Some families find that an evening throughout the week and one overnight each weekend works better than an entire weekend twice a month. If one parent no longer lives in the area, two week visits are often scheduled for the summer, but again, this doesn’t always work. If you and your spouse cannot work out the details of your divorce on your own, make sure your attorneys understand your needs for visitation as they work on your divorce.
Your lawyers will know what judges expect in your area and will also understand how visitations can affect the amount of child support that is ordered. Joint custody implies that both parents will have equal time with the children and therefore, a smaller amount will be ordered. If one parent will have primary custody, more support could be ordered.
Even if you and your spouse cannot agree about anything else in your divorce, you know your children and your schedule best. Use that information to plan a visitation schedule that will be the in the best interest of your children. Always remember that your children’s happiness should be the most important thing in your mind. Sharing their lives with both parents is usually what they want most in the case of divorce.
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